Ulnar wrist pain refers to pain on the pinkie side (ulnar side) of the wrist. The pain can range from mild to severe and in some cases; prevent the performance of simple tasks.
Finding the exact cause of wrist pain can be difficult; however, when diagnosed properly, ulnar wrist pain can be treated with surgery and other methods.
Common signs and symptoms of ulnar wrist pain include:
- Pain over the pinkie side (ulnar side) of the wrist
- Tenderness when pressing on the wrist bones
- Bone bruising
- Popping or clicking sound of the bones
- Inability to turn the palm over to the ground
Ulnar wrist pain can vary, depending on the cause. An individual may experience great pain when trying to grip an object or twist the wrist. A number of possible causes of ulnar wrist pain include:
- Arthritis: Inflammation of one or more joints, causing pain and stiffness that can worsen with age.
- Trauma injury: Playing certain sports such as golf and football can damage ligaments or tendons in the wrist.
- Overuse injury: Playing certain sports such as tennis or golf or using certain devices such as a computer mouse or keyboard for a longer period of time can add stress to the wrist and cause wrist pain.
Treatment options for ulnar wrist pain typically depend on the cause of the wrist pain.
A few recommended treatment options include:
- Taking pain relieving medications can help improve ulnar wrist pain symptoms
- Taking cortisone injections can help relieve pain associated with the wrist
- Immobilization: Wearing a splint or cast can help provide temporary pain relief of the wrist and prevent rotating of the forearm
- Avoiding certain sports or modifying the hours spent playing certain sports such as tennis or gold can help provide long term relief.
In more severe cases when pain persists despite treatment with medications and immobilization, surgery is recommended. A few surgical procedures for ulnar wrist pain include:
- Arthroscopic surgery: A minimally invasive surgical procedure that involves inserting an endoscope (a flexible tube) into the joint through a small incision.
- A Surgical procedure that involves substituting a tendon for a ligament
- A Surgical procedure that involves rebuilding the affected joint
Typically after surgery, the wrist and forearm will be in a cast for about four to six weeks. A particular recommended option for additional treatment is participation in occupational therapy. Occupational therapy is a type of therapy that follows certain exercises in order to develop, recover or maintain certain skills such as increasing the wrist’s range of motion.
A full recovery can be expected within three to six months.
A few measures that can help prevent ulnar wrist pain include the following:
- Properly warming up before getting involved in a physical activity
- Learning proper techniques for certain sports in order to avoid injuries
- Limiting hours of play in certain sports such as tennis and golf in order to reduce stress on the wrist
- Taking breaks in between activities (gardening, writing, and others)
- Wearing protective gear equipment while participating in certain sports